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on, getting aid to victims of superstorm sandy. by a 61-33 vote the chamber passed a measure offering $60 billion in help. it heads to the house which must approve the bill by thursday or else the process to consider the money has to start all over again. at least 113 people were killed when superstorm sandy hit in late october. the governors of new york and new jersey, the hardest hit states, have estimated damages at more than $78 billion. >>> and turning to weather. even though winter is just over a week old, millions of americans probably can't wait for spring to arrive. me, as well, yes. scenes like this in maine are playing out all across the country as snow is now on the ground in almost 65% of the lower 48 states. at least everybody's enjoying it together. look at this video from arkansas where -- in little rock, they posted a record-breaking nine inches on christmas day. and for some of you, yay, not over yet. let's bring in meteorologist bonnie schneider for a look at what is on top for today. is there an end in sight for -- >> no. no. we've got more snow, more wind and rain
, and then have slowly been settling down and that was mostly because of superstorm sandy. so today with the level at this more palatable sort of level at 350,000 the big question is will today be just a blip or will this be the beginning of a trend, and that's what you really want to see. you want to see the level of layoffs continuing to at least stay the same and obviously you want to see them come down but at the same time you also want to see hiring happening and that's where that government jobs report that we focus on once a month, that's where that comes into play. we're going to get the next one next week, that government jobs report and the big worry, carol, that's hanging over all of this is the fiscal cliff. although we're still in the middle of wondering what congress is going to do about it, companies are already holding back hiring so that is clearly impacting the jobs market but the good news once again is the layoffs are slowing, down 12,000 to 350,000 last week. carol? >> thank you very much, washington. alison kosik thank you so much. >>> growing outrage over the decision of a n
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